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The Last of Us: Naughty Dog owns stealth survival horror

Monday, 4 February 2013 08:06 GMT By Phil Owen

The Last of Us has finally appeared in playable form. What exactly is it? Is it any good? Phil Owen has pleasing answers both these questions.

Naughty Dog’s Latest

The Last of Us is the first new property from Naughty Dog since Uncharted, and the first it has had in active rotation while the previous franchise is yet to be retired.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world characterised by zombie-like victims of a fungal plague. Other survivors are perhaps a worse threat.

An E3 2012 demo of the PlayStation 3 exclusive was well-received but shocked some viewers with its raw, confronting violence.

A release date of May 7 has been confirmed.

For the first time last week, Naughty Dog gave us the chance to get our hands on The Last of Us and see exactly what kind of game we will be getting in May. We’ve seen hands-off demos before, but watching does not at all match the experience of playing it for ourselves. I can attest that seeing someone who is intimately familiar with how the game works play it will not adequately prepare you for facing the horrors of The Last of Us.

Before we played, creative director Neil Druckmann gave us some background on the section we would see, which takes place relatively early in the game. Hero Joel and his friend Tess live in a quarantine zone in Boston twenty years after a fungal infection ripped the United States apart. They are smugglers who bring things into and out of the zone, and they are tasked with taking a girl named Ellie out from this safe area to a group of men they will meet at the state capitol building some ways away.

The demo picked up as the three are making their way through the city, which is completely mucked up, as the military had dropped bombs on the city to try to contain the zombie-like infection. The early part of this journey involves a lot of climbing over and under things as rain falls on our protagonists’ heads. Eventually, we enter a skyscraper that no long stands up straight, and the experience of exploring it is a bit disorienting.

But, of course, The Last of Us is about more than just walking around. After a while, Joel, Tess and Ellie encounter some of the infected denizens of the city, whom they must take down.

Combat in The Last of Us is stealth oriented, but Naughty Dog have created combat systems that are unique. There are three stages of the fungal infection, and in the demo we faced two of them, the Runners (stage one) and the Clickers (stage three). The important thing to remember about these enemies is that Runners can’t see too well, and so their vision is based on movement, like a tyrannosaur, and the Clickers can’t see at all and must use echolocation in order to get around.

If you try to approach The Last of Us the way you would any other stealth game, like I did, you will be beating your head against a wall.

So if you try to approach The Last of Us the way you would any other stealth game, like I did, you will be beating your head against a wall. In the first serious encounter with these enemies — an area that contained five or six Runners and one Clicker, I died over and over again without making significant headway. I became immensely frustrated, and I started to worry that the game might be unbalanced and far too difficult.

Thankfully, though, a Naughty Dog staffer had been watching me play, and he pointed out to me that I can walk right up to a Clicker without him noticing me if he’s not making noises. This was an important note, because Clickers are horrifying once they hear you — when a Clicker detects you and gets within arm’s reach, he will one-hit kill you. Meanwhile, you can brawl with the Runners, and so once the Clicker was dealt with I was able to take down the other enemies efficiently with my lead pipe.

I should note that the learning curve was high because I was playing a section in the middle of the game that takes place after the tutorial sections that we must assume exist, given Naughty Dog’s development history this generation. Players coming into the full game will likely have a better grasp of how the stealth combat works at this point in the game than I did.

Indeed, there was another section later in the demo in which you must face off with an additional bunched collection of enemies, this one containing half a dozen Clickers and a couple Runners. Now that I had a handle on how to play the game, I was able to pass through that section without serious frustration. Yes, I still died a few times, but I felt like I was making progress with each attempt. It did not feel overwhelming.

Special editions

The Last of Us has spawned dour special editions, complete with DLC and collectibles.

In Europe, collectors can choose between the Joel and Ellie packages.

While US denizens take their pick from the Survival and Post-Pandemic bundles.

By that point, too, I had learned the value of crafting, which is a necessity in surviving The Last of Us. As you explore, you’ll collect a variety of seeming pointless items like scissors and tape and glass bottles. With the crafting system Naughty Dog has built, you will use those items to put together useful things like Molotov cocktails and shivs, and they also allow you to upgrade our weapons. A pipe is nice on its own, as it will allow you to take down a Runner twice as quickly as if you are just using your fists, but if you combine your pipe with blades from scissors, you can kill them with one hit. Upgrading will also allow your improvised weapons to last longer, as they can only stand a limited number of hits before breaking.

As a stealth game, The Last of Us is also unique in that the player character, Joel, is not alone in his adventures. Indeed, in the demo I played, he is accompanied by two other people. In the first major combat section, Tess and Ellie stayed back while I cleared the room, but in the next one they followed me around as I tried to quietly take down enemies. As I played, I could not tell if in those situations that stealth was broken if it was me or my companions who did it, but what I found most interesting is that they would notice that stealth was broken before I did. On those occasions, I would realize I had alerted more enemies when Tess opened fire. The AI seemes effective at helping out when this happens; Tess even took out a Clicker once all on her own.

Given that having companions follow you around in a stealth game is a new wrinkle for the genre, I couldn’t help but ask Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells about why they chose to go that route and how it works from a technical standpoint.

“It’s a struggle,” he told me, “but it’s so important for us to tell the story to have- well, the story is entirely around Joel and Ellie. When we set out to make this game, we knew that was a challenge that we had to tackle. The rewards are huge, because you can tell a much better story when you have other characters to play off of, so you’re not just having an inner monologue or talking to yourself. To have that dynamic and build that bond between characters across the course of an entire game is really interesting to us.”

In terms of building a game with a stealth system that needs to account for multiple protagonists presented Naughty Dog with serious obstacles that needed to be addressed, and Wells discussed those with me.

A lot of work goes into The Last Of Us’s cutscenes,
which so far look just as good – if not better – than
the Uncharted franchise’s.

“Do you ever allow your companion to break stealth?” Wells commented.

“If you’re staying hidden, will the player feel completely cheated if, for reasons they’re not responsible for, stealth is broken? We thought yes, that is the case, and so now we have to make sure that somehow we keep the allied NPC out of the line of sight of our enemies. It took a huge AI challenge to– it sort of works both ways: they have to be smart about where the enemies are, but the enemies have to be smart about where the allied NPC is, and we make sure that they will intentionally not look in their direction if they happen to be exposed at the right time. It’s kind of a give and take.”

So Wells put to rest my fear that Ellie or Tess could be a liability, and he also noted that they can be quite handy in a fight, as I mentioned above. Joel’s lady friends are quite dangerous when they need to be.

“Although we had all those challenges in trying to figure out how to deal with the stealth game,” Wells remarked, “now you reap all those rewards when you have an ally when combat opens up — you all of a sudden think [Ellie is] the coolest person ever when she can rescue you.”

Due to the stealthy nature of the game, you won’t find the kind of epic set pieces we’ve come to expect from Naughty Dog thanks to what they’ve done with the Uncharted series. It’s just not that kind of game, as you might have realized from my descriptions of the gameplay above. But they did design the game with a similar philosophy to their other current generation games in that they have had some idea of the type of sensory experience they wanted to craft before building the story.

“You develop the story, and that will bring to light some moments in the game that really create some awesome gameplay,” Wells told me.

“Sometimes, it’s the story that drives us to say, ‘OK, we need to create this environment and this kind of gameplay,’ and other times it’s like, ‘OK, is is the experience we want to create — how do we get the story to pass rough that?’”

“You’ll have an idea, for instance, we just thought it would be really cool to have an environment where you’re going through a subway that’s been flooded out, and you’re in a building that is completely collapsed in on itself, and so you’ve got this familiar environment that people might go through on their daily commutes, but it’s completely turned on its head and becomes unfamiliar because you’ve got these creatures dwelling in it and it’s been neglected for twenty years and you can see what nature has done to it.

“That was just a moment we wanted to experience. We wanted to see what it would be like to go through a creepy environment like that in the dark, with this antagonism on you. So, then, you just feed that into the story — well, how do you get them into that scenario?”

Wells summed up the whole design philosophy as so: “Sometimes, it’s the story that drives us to say, ‘OK, we need to create this environment and this kind of gameplay,’ and other times it’s like, ‘OK, is is the experience we want to create — how do we get the story to pass rough that?’”

From what I played of The Last of Us, I feel as if that philosophy is working, but only the full game will be able to tell us if that feeling is accurate. You’ll be able to pick up Naughty Dog’s latest and decide for yourself on May 7 in both North America and Europe.

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25 Comments

  1. Mike W

    My God, I haven’t been to forest hills in years, I wonder does it look like that? (I’m from Boston people) ;)

    Staying on topic, this game is going to be nuts.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Must-buy. Can’t wait.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dragon246

    First game that I will play till completion on consoles this year. Probably the strongest contender for GOTY for me along with GTA5 and GOW.
    This just sounds more awesome the more I hear about it.
    This game also shows how things like crafting etc. doesn’t really require a second screen to be effective, judging from the previews.
    @Phil,
    Are clickers stage 2 or 3? IGN reports them as stage 2. Are you sure that they are stage 3?
    Also, did sony release any sort of videos to accompany this reveal. I would have LOVED to see the beautiful graphics again.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Telepathic.Geometry

    Hi Phil Owen, I’m an annoying grammar nazi who points out insignificant typos: “answers TO both these questions” Now, I’m gonna read this article. I’ve been looking forward to The Last of Us for a while now, seems like it might be The Walking Dead meets Uncharted. Sorry for being a pain…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. chaoszage

    Game Title should be Silent Hill:Last of Us :P

    #5 2 years ago
  6. KAP

    I love that this is completely different to uncharted. Less about set pieces more about tention. This is what we all have been hungry for since resi evil turned into gears of war.

    Glad to see the video on IGN of the gameplay, looked so tense…. wow.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Get_crazy

    If you want to see new gameplay footage with those clickers (it’s stage 3, stage 2, as I understood, is a transition between runners and clickers but ND didn’t want to share any further at the moment). Anyway, there goes the new gameplay footage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6jIK_cHF5c

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    Really looking forward to this one too.

    @3
    Plenty of games have effective crafting systems, but it’s not simply about being effective. It’s about this sort of thing being enhanced by a second screen.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. manamana

    Pre-order is already out but damn, that sounds and looks right up my alley. The video is just what I hoped it would be like. Great stuff coming!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. daytripper

    They have nailed the atmosphere, the clickers create tension knowing one screw up and it’s game over. Day one

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dragon246

    @8,
    Its personal choice then, I believe second screen adds nothing in this regard. You believe otherwise.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. polygem

    i am looking forward to this as well…@Get_crazy: thanks for the link, haven´t seen that footage yet. intense stuff.
    it really looks great. i was disapointed with zombiu. not that it´s a bad game but i just cannot get into it somehow. i crave a creepy, intense and atmospheric game with an immersive story. here it comes i hope.

    @dragon: a second screen would enhance these kind of games for sure…let´s see what you think about that when sony goes that road ;)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. lexph3re

    This year is such a great year of gaming to me. I choose not to look at ALL of my must haves this year so I don’t spoil my urge to play them. Dead Space 3 comes out tomorrow and all I watched was the very first trailer and the kinect trailer. I just don’t want to feel like I played the game before actually playing it anymore. A lot of experiences were ruined because of that for me.

    This game looks bloody epic and so does Ascension. Such a great year for gaming for me

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    They don’t own it. Pat.

    You never played Metro 2033 or Amnesia: The dark Descent. Just try out Metro: The Last Light this year at least or Amnesia: Machine for Pigs.

    I want the game and will probably try it but I don’t see a single thing that said it is a horror. So far it was a survival action game.

    The biggest thing about this game is that it has inventory and you can actually Craft things. Shooting mechanics were nice, animations, graphics (for a console that is limited as F.) but at the same time everything what I saw was SCRIPTED.

    If it is Scripted it will be easy as hell.

    P.S. this game would be much better next gen. It looks just meh in 2013 already. Look at any PC multiplatform these days with Anti-Aliasing and tesselation. Look at the Crysis 3 PC videos where everything looks sharp and then look at the TLOU screens. ND is very talented studio, but PS3 limited their ability to do things better.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DrDamn

    @11
    Of course it comes down to personal opinion, but when presented with some valid points do you have anything to counter them with other than “No, I don’t think so”.

    For example a touch screen is quicker and easier to use to select and manage inventory as you might need in a crafting system. That’s a fairly reasonable assertion that most people would agree with. A d-pad controller cursor selection method is a work around, functional, but a work around.

    Or in a survival horror game making the player look away from the screen at the pad to perform certain actions also helps with atmosphere as it re-enforces the actions the character is doing. I.e. taking their attention away from what is around them and putting their focus elsewhere.

    These are enhancements. Not something which makes these things possible, but which enhances the functionality.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dragon246

    @15,
    There is a 4th wall, I am not Joel. I want to see him doing those things, and I certainly know the backpack is behind me, and its not a touchscreen. And I certainly want to marvel at screen during these times.
    Again, this is not a survival horror game, at least devs don’t believe it so. Its just so good that it transcends multiple genres.
    Its a perfectly good method to do stuff like crafting without needing an extra peripheral.
    These are also valid points/opinions, and I am not forcing it on anyone.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DrDamn

    @16
    “Its a perfectly good method to do stuff like crafting without needing an extra peripheral.”

    That’s not the point though. No one is saying you can’t do it without it, no one is saying it’s needed for these things. We are just saying a second touch screen can enhance these things.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Dragon246

    @17,
    And I don’t see any enhancements. I listed my reasons, feel free to disagree.
    Move is supposedly the best motion controller from FPSes (ask Ken or Guerrilla), do I agree, no. I don’t like Duck Hunt style shooting. Keyboard and Mouse are the best controllers for fpses. Just sayin’

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Kabby

    Oh, zombies.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. killersense

    man survival horror isn’t my cup of tea :( but i love naughty dog games especially uncharted and the way they tell a story so i am definitely gonna pick this up. worse case scenario is i probably put this is on easy just to run through and experience the story.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. PEYJ

    For me most emotional games are about the immersion with the environment and the characters, not the technology. Having a second screen prevents 100 % focus from the story and its players and instead provides you with another tool/toy. Fair enough if people like that but a game like is not for that.

    I tried ZombieU (NOT to be compaired to The Last of Us) and ultimately I found the second screen use annoying. However, thats a question of taste looking at how the game is presented and how little the story means.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. nhowell14

    This game is terrifying, simply because it’s actually plausible….

    This game could very easily be the new Resident Evil / I Am Legend fix I’ve been absolutely craving for. Thankfully it’s an exclusive PS3 game, that way it’ll be worth the time to play. No more cross-plat titles for me. They just never seem to hold up to what Sony’s first party studios put out.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Erthazus

    ^ I hope this game will be a new Resident Evil in both sales and metacritic.

    I so hope for that. crapcom should just go away with their stupid reboots.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Dragon246

    @PEYJ,
    +1

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Telepathic.Geometry

    Yay, Peyj is back! ^-^

    #25 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    A video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, taking you behind-the-scenes with CD Projekt RED. Nvidia’s GeForce crew went to the firm’s studio in Poland to talk with the game’s executive producer John Mamais, who provides a look at the PC version of the upcoming RPG. CD Projekt, according to the video […]

  • Microsoft notes decline in Xbox unit sales for Q3 FY15 to 1.6 million

    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Ember” teaser video released ahead of full reveal

    Activision has released a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser video titled “Ember” and you can watch it right here. Here’s the video blurb: “In the next 50 years, technological advancements will lead us into a world where only those who risk going too far, will find out how far we can actually go.” […]

  • Dragon Age Keep update includes more customizability and control

    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

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  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]

  • Cthulhu voodoo: why Bloodborne is the best Lovecraftian game

    Sherif Said tackles Bloodborne’s links to Lovecraftian horror, explaining why you should face the madness and immerse yourself in its lore. Spoilers inside. No other game could commit to its themes so religiously without feeling the need to compromise its vision and veer towards accessibility. Bloodborne stands tall above any game that dares attach itself […]

  • WWE 2K15 is coming to PC this year

    WWE 2K15 will make its way to PC this spring. WWE announced that WWE 2K15 will make its debut on PC in the spring. The game will be based on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, both of which came out in November. MyCareer and 2K Showaces modes are included, as well as all […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new mod adds snow to GTA Online

    If you’re looking to get some snow in your GTA Online, someone figured out a way. Modder ECB2 created a mod that works with GTA Online on PC. The mod is called “Snow in GTA Online” and it does what it says on the tin. YouTube channel imperfectplayers captured a video showing it in action. […]

  • Deals with Gold: Call of Duty edition

    Xbox Live Deals with Gold for the week of April 20 are now live with mostly Call of Duty games. Various Call of Duty games are on sale on Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Live this week. Indie games Never Alone and We Are Doomed managed to sneak in as well. With the […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: PSN sign in problems fixed in new patch

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Mortal Kombat X and it brings an end to the aggravating sing in issue encountered by some users on PS4. Mortal Kombat X 1.03 patch has been released. The patch fixes bug CE-34878-0, which affected the PlayStation 4 version. The bug caused users to have to log in and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new patch fixes Windows Media Player issue, getting stuck in the clouds

    GTA 5 has received a new patch on PC to fix issues caused by the lack of Windows Media Player and getting stuck between online matches. Patch 335.1 is now available to all owners of GTA 5 on PC. The strange issue that affected those who didn’t have Windows Media Player installed, has been fixed. […]